Opening of _Afternoon of a Faun_

Advanced Technique, Performance Questions, Auditions, Recording, etc.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 »

Meredith wrote:Really? I believe that in Trevor Wye's Omnibook, he states that the premiere used three flutists. Either way, though, it's the same point -- Debussy's original soloist couldn't cut it.
One of the two (or three) was Marcel Moyse, if memory serves, so I don't think it was really a matter of "cutting it" but more one of comfort for the soloist.

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker »

flutepicc06 wrote:
Meredith wrote:Really? I believe that in Trevor Wye's Omnibook, he states that the premiere used three flutists. Either way, though, it's the same point -- Debussy's original soloist couldn't cut it.
One of the two (or three) was Marcel Moyse, if memory serves, so I don't think it was really a matter of "cutting it" but more one of comfort for the soloist.
Or the more important fact and what really relates to the point of this thread that everybody -- a group who now apparently includes one of the greatest flutists who ever lived -- believed at the time it was first being performed that the Faun phrase at issue here must be played without break, even if it takes more than one person to pull it off.

If someone can't do it, then maybe they can do it the way the first french flute section did. I'm relatively sure the 2nd flute and picc won't mind pitching in :-). And, as I keep saying, it's really not that hard if you pay attention to the dynamic levels, keep from over-romanticize this intentionally simple little melody (a common mistake flutists make that wastes air, and steals elegance from the solo), and learn to breathe and support that air properly. What makes it hard for people is trying to play it too loudly, treating it like a Wagnerian aria, and not mastering breathe support skills.

SK

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piperman
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Post by piperman »

Hi,
the one thing that strikes me is that there is a b# in there, how in the world do we play a b#?

I am puzzled my this.

Thanks,
Steve

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piperman
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Post by piperman »

Well, it was a dumb question if you think about it.
I figured it out.

Cheers,
Steve

Tarandros
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Post by Tarandros »

You can sneak a breath in after the G natural in bar 2 and even at a pinch after the g natural in both the opening bars without damgaging the flow of the melody too much, with a very soft (soft as possible) i.e. inaudible tonguing of the A that follows it. The third bar doesn't have to be played with an intentional crescendo as the marked crescendo takes care of itself through the rise to a more naturally penetrating register. The fact that the bars are marked piano also obviously helps in sustaining the long line without a breath. Kind regards, T.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

I guess I've always been lucky with my breath support... I've never thought this was hard to fit in one breath. Nor the Mendelssohn Scherzo excerpt either.

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